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Question:

Persistent swelling after lip laceration

Dear Ask The Doctor:
I fell on my face 3 weeks ago. My two top front teeth went through my lower lip. Got 7 stitches on outside of the lip. The stitches were removed 6 days later. The cut is completely healed, but the entire area is still swollen and getting harder and harder. It feels like there is a 1/2-inch diameter of hard tissue inside the lip. It is also itchy. I saw a dermatologist once, but he only gave me antibiotics. Please advise what seems to be wrong.


Answer:

Swelling after an injury of that nature may take a week to resolve. If swelling persists, the most likely cause is an infection. Your doctors seemed to have this angle covered as well.  As the tissue heals it may become hardened but this “hardness” resolves with time. Continue the antibiotics as prescribed. If the swelling continues despite the antibiotics or if there is a fever, pus draining from the wound, this could signal the development of an abscess and would require surgical drainage.


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